Assessment & Moderation


Recognition of Prior Learning

This topic contains 27 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Gavin Tonks 11 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #67055

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I have been reading a good book on RPL as a specialised Pedagogy which is available from the HSRC Press – (Details on their web site). It is definitely advocated that RPL has many benefits and in particular benefits for the Historically disadvantaged. What surprises me is that with SAQA and the QCTO advocating RPL and the Minister of Higher Education asking, why so little is happening and what is likely to happen going forward, that so few providers, assessors and moderators are actively involved in this area. Does RPL have a place and what is your take as a provider, assessor or moderator to RPL. should and can more be done to give RPL its place as envisaged by the NQF? Your comments will be appreciated.

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  • #67060

    Tando Qeqe
    Participant

    Good day Des

    What is the name of the book?

    You can email me all the info, and i do wish to have a meeting with you,if possible.

    My email address is : tando.qeqe@qeqebc.co.za or 082 422 4399.

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  • #67061

    Des Squire
    Participant

    RPL as a specialised Pedagogy – feel free to give me a call on 0828009057

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  • #67072

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Dear Des,
    Thank you for posting this discussion. I have the book and it is well worth purchasing.
    Personally, when we started – remember back in the 2000s – right at the beginning – I thought that what we were going to do was to first identify the formal NQF level of each employee – certificates, etc.
    Then we would assess each employee for RPL to see what could be “topped up” for further qualification, and then progress individually tailored development.
    Maybe I was wrong?

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  • #67073

    Geraldine Schoeman
    Participant

    Dear Des and Colleagues

    Sylvia that was my understanding as well. Based on the assessment process, there would be a Personal Development Plan, setting out what components of the qualification could be RPL’d, and what would still need to be put in place to move towards competence across all Unit Standard Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria.

    Des to answer your question directly: Yes, without any doubt there is (should be) a very significant role for RPL. Unfortunately, those who stood to truly gain from the Apartheid’s system of allowing people to do every aspect of the work, without allowing the qualification are probably too old to find an emphasis on RPL at this point in time of any use, given that we are so many years down the line.

    We lost our appetite for doing RPL for a variety of reasons (although I must emphasise that my experience has been in the public sector and not the private sector where it may have looked completely different): (i) despite the fact that an RPL intervention is supposed to offer the coherent process Sylvia speaks off, a significant proportion of the public sector players that did show an interest wanted “quick and dirty” with an associated budget that was more than sufficient for those on the take but definitely not cost effective for those who believed in doing it wisely and well; (ii) even although workers would go through the entire RPL process, the organisations would not upgrade their employment level in line with the new qualifications achieved or for that matter use them in jobs reflecting the qualification, which is rather frustrating for all. So a wastewater treatment worker would have a brand new hard earned qualification and remain in the same labourer position at the same salary level. Kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise; (iii) not sure whether other sectors suffered from the same pernicious levels of graft, but the Water and Sanitation sector was a cesspool (no pun intended). After spending a huge amount of time and money on developing RPL materials, it was a non-negotiable requirement that we submit all our documents and materials in unprotected electronic format to the EWSETA for registration, only to find out that apparently such documents were being ‘sold’ to other parties. Because we didn’t manage to obtain definitive proof, nothing further was done. Nor did the EWSETA actually ever provide documentation that the material had officially been ‘registered’.

    I actually bowed out of the training field for a number of years because I was totally disgusted with it, and have only fairly recently entered back into the process.

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  • #67076

    Xolile Hans
    Participant

    RPL is necessary as there are so many uncertificated artisans in our area, the challenge is with experienced and accredited providers for it. We once tried to assist some setas and municipality in our area and the people were requested to bring evidence of more than 5 years of experience and details of the employer they worked for.

    The learners could not furnish the information although they could have been able to show competency if they were assessed by means of the various methods for assessment.

    RPL is still an elephant for some of us in the Eastern Cape.

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  • #67110

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia, You were 100% correct in my opinion and nothing has changed. I believe that coupled with a skills analysis, which is aligned or linked to specific qualifications, we can identify skills gaps for various groups of employees. RPL would therefore play a big role in relation to the analysis.
    Geraldine I think we may have missed the boat where HDI learners are concerned but there are still many employees who can benefit from RPL. Great to have you back.
    Xolile – you need people trained as RPL advisors to assist those wanting to put POE’s together.
    Thank you all for the comments – I hope we can get some more.

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  • #67117

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thank you to everyone for your comments – we all seem to be on the same wavelength on what we want to achieve – but totally depressed about the real world circumstances.
    I wonder whether Minister Pandor would consider a special task team to pilot of process – maybe in one of the manufacturing or technical areas.
    We have centres of specialisation – maybe we need an RPL centre of specialisation.

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  • #67118

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I agree with you Sylvia. Too many people who should be and could have been beneficiaries via RPL have missed out. Something needs to be done otherwise the concept must be scrapped altogether. it is soul destroying selling the concept and benefits and then hitting a brick wall at every turn. Perhaps you can mention it when you meet the DG we spoke about. She is very aware of the need and supports it 100%

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    • #67119

      sylvia hammond
      Keymaster

      Thanks Des – that is a good idea. I have not heard but I will make a list in preparation.
      If we can just have a small success, with a simple step process that can be rolled out.

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  • #67125

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Des & Xolile & Geraldine,
    I thought let me look again at the Draft Artisan Development Strategy – see in the Downloads section
    On pages 43 & 44 there is content on RPL – have a look and see what you think.

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  • #67193

    karen deller
    Participant

    Hi Dean and Sylvia and everyone else inn this post. I was one the co authors of this book on RPL. The book was the result of a 4 year research project sponsored by SAAS and involved my private FET college, UWC, UCT and workers college in KZN. We have been doing rpl for over 15 years now and I have definitely learn what to do and what not to do. It’s true that budgets,lack of seta understanding (in some cases) and provider inexperience has led to a poor rap for rpl. I recently assisted Botswana to write their national rpl policy and i tried hard to craft the polocy to avoid the mistakes we made. The book is available as a few download from.the saqa web site. I can post the link if this is allowed by the admin on this site. I ask planning a days workshop to discuss the project and lessons for implementation sometime September or October and will post details on this forum. If anyone is planning an RPL intervention it will be a good starting point.

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    • #67214

      sylvia hammond
      Keymaster

      Dear Karen,
      Thank you for your response. You are very welcome to enter a link.

      You can either just copy and paste it into the discussion box, or if you look on the top of the box there is a box for “link”, if you click there it will open two boxes one to enter the link and one to enter the words you want to use for people to click on.

      Have a go and see if you can enter it.

      I cannot circulate a single discussion post, but I could re-circulate the whole discussion for others to read.

      Thanks sylvia

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  • #67205

    Gavin Tonks
    Participant

    When I look at RPL, it feels to me it should have a timeline as at what point does the effective education, freely available be sublimated by RPL.

    If a person has the experience why is the company they have gained the experience at, not putting them on the workskills program?

    I have heard of people advocating a partial skills course than RPL the candidates, it smacks of a circumvention of the year training.

    To me people are looking for a way to circumvent a years training. Many universities are now making course material freely available for study, maybe that’s where we should be going.

    The SSETA allowing free access to material allowing a person to study in their own time. This can be a 2 pronged education program allowing a person to demonstrate knowledge of the unit standards and then the physical requirement of the work skill. This could allow unemployed persons access to being informed before they join the system.

    An RPL assessment centre could be a way of pre-assesing learners and work as a recruitment and assessment centre for skills development is what I would like to see.

    Education is daunting for many with the fear of learning and achievement insurmountable for many. A progressive RPL assessment and access to further skills education via the process would assist in creating a learnership culture and opportunity for improvement.

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  • #67221

    Hi Des, great question!

    The lack of knowledge and expertise have a significant influence on the implementation of RPL. These factors and the RISK of “no Payment”, spawns an environment of ambiguity, susceptible to financial risk. I cannot think of one private provider that will be prepared to navigate unexplored waters at their expense, without some guarantee that the process will ensure Return on Investment. The risk, for even the craziest entrepreneur with limited funds, is just too high.

    Private providers cannot afford the possibility that RPL Assessments will not achieve the verification expectation which is essential to provide SORs. We all know no SOR – no payment. This is a risk that only Universities can afford.

    More challenges for RPL are the lack of sufficient expertise within the Quality Councils, ETQA’s/ AQP’s to implement, monitor, evaluate and develop Providers. Perfect policies are available on each QC/ AQP’s website, but meaningless without the essential “know-how” at the QC ETQA/ AQP’s themselves.

    Government will need to step up its motivation through incentives, but more importantly sufficient training of QC/ ETQA/ AQP Staff that will administrate RPL, needs priority attention and a Help-Desk that can support these initiatives. Should any of the key staff follows a rigid, checklist-like approach, without a high degree of reflexive expertise in the application thereof, the process will fail.

    Should Verifiers not be trained to the Gills in the process, it will fail. Providers, where reliable Quality Policies exist, will Provider follow suit in upskilling its own assessors and moderators – but no one wants to engage a Verifier that follows a rigid process.

    ‘Till such time, that the processes of RPL are established beyond “doubt” it will remain a white elephant.

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  • #67222

    Sandile Nkosi
    Participant

    Thanks for this interesting and informative discussion. The information you shared will be of great help to many people that have some experience but no qualification and find it difficult to find employment once retrenched or lost their jobs for whatever reason.

    It is interesting to learn of free access to study material (hope that’s the benefit of free education) as that will enable us to encourage the unemployed to start learning new skills and find employment, especially the youth.

    So please keep the flow of information so as to help our country to cut the rising unemployment rate down.

    I also find that less effort is being made by the Setas to assist RPL and have not employed enough capacity thereof and at most the rising costs will offset quench the desire for learners to follow this route to attaining qualifications

    The SSETA initiative of allowing free access to material thus provide an opportunity for a person to study in their own time, is a commendable achievement and should be supported. I request you to provide more information on how people especially the youth can access it.

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  • #67227

    Gavin Tonks
    Participant

    I cannot resonate more with what Pierre says.

    This is a bigger problem when the content experts are not experts themselves and are charging exorbitant fees for clearly sub standard work. It is not a career path but a sort of wandered into the realm of!!!!

    The whole process of accreditation for courses and SETA’s is an ad hoc what temperature outside scenario as we bumble along. My client has investment a considerable amount of money to provide quality education, [I honestly do not see knew entrants unless they have big pockets] and a large portion has been expensive school fees, and people preying on the fact the processes are not documented and leave far too much to interpretation.

    More challenges for RPL are the lack of sufficient expertise within the Quality Councils, ETQA’s/ AQP’s to implement, monitor, evaluate and develop Providers. Perfect policies are available on each QC/ AQP’s website, but meaningless without the essential “know-how” at the QC ETQA/ AQP’s themselves.

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  • #67228

    Gavin Tonks
    Participant

    Sandile it is what I said should be happening, but is not fully implemented some SETAs have learning guidelines available and others not

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  • #67265

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Following our discussion on RPL, I was fascinated to find tweets from DHET on progress on RPL. I realise not everyone is on twitter, so I have copied the tweets announcing that the DHET Minister Pandor has appointed an RPL reference group.

    For those on twitter, you can follow the links, I think I have copied all the content, but you will see that there are a number of tweets.

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:14 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor has appointed a 23 member Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Reference Group as part of the implementation of Phase 1 of the Recognition of Prior Learning Coordination Policy
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020310949813792768?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:15 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    The Reference Group, will be chaired by Professor Ahmed Bawa, and is made up of the following members; Adv. Eben Boshoff; Ms Gerda Magnus; Mr Neil Makhaga; Mr Tsela Moloi; Ms Vuyokazi Patuleni; Dr Shirley Lloyd; Mr Mogamat Shaafig Fredericks; Mr Joe Samuels; Dr Amani Saidi;…
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020311128054919169?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:17 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    The Group’s main functions will be to advise the Minister about funding for the Coordinating mechanism for RPL in Phase 1; to develop a strategy and implementation plan for Phase 2 of the RPL Coordination Policy;…
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020311686622965760?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:17 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    …; monitor and evaluate the progress made in RPL implementation and coordination across the education and training sector; and identify barriers to RPL implementation which may require legislative amendments.
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020311774904700929?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:18 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    The purpose of this RPL policy is to provide a strong enabling policy environment for the further development and implementation of RPL across the post-school education and training system, and across all levels of the NQF.
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020311924976902144?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:20 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    The RPL Coordination Policy will support the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region related to education and training.
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020312562510987265?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:20 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities ((section 5 (1) (d) of the NQF Act)
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020312427752296451?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:21 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    The key international influences on the policy have been the valuable research of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020312851850956800?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:21 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    This is a strategic policy and has drawn on international trends in recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning and workplace-based experiential learning.
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020312800290369537?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:21 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    This policy is based on the report and proposals from the Ministerial Task team on a National strategy for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) (2013), and the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (2013). It also recognizes a range of RPL-related initiatives.
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020312661484023809?s=03)

    HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) tweeted at 4:21 PM on Fri, Jul 20, 2018:
    Some of these have been underway for several years, and others are being planned for the future. These will be part of an integrated strategy for RPL policy implementation, which has been developed by SAQA and the Quality Councils (QCs).
    (https://twitter.com/HigherEduGovZA/status/1020312704911888384?s=03)

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  • #67266

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Further information – from Facebook – confirming the tweets:
    Minister Pandor appoints a strong Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Reference Group

    The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor has appointed a 23 member Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Reference Group as part of the implementation of Phase 1 of the Recognition of Prior Learning Coordination Policy.

    The Reference Group, will be chaired by Professor Ahmed Bawa, and is made up of the following members; Adv. Eben Boshoff; Ms Gerda Magnus; Mr Neil Makhaga; Mr Tsela Moloi; Ms Vuyokazi Patuleni; Dr Shirley Lloyd; Mr Mogamat Shaafig Fredericks; Mr Joe Samuels; Dr Amani Saidi; Ms Busi Langa-Mtsintsilana; Dr Eva Sujee; Prof Alan Tait; Dr Joy Van Kleef; Ms Desiree Vardhan; Ms Conti Magdeline Matlakala; Dr James Keevy; Professor Benjamin Anderson; Mr Ernest Lebuso Monyatsi; Ms Lazelle Van Kramberg; Mr Ashley Benjamin; Mr Bhabhali Ka Maphikela Nhlapo and Ms Elsie Potgieter
    The Group begins its work today, 20 July 2018, and has been appointed for a period of three years.

    The Group’s main functions will be to advise the Minister about funding for the Coordinating mechanism for RPL in Phase 1; to develop a strategy and implementation plan for Phase 2 of the RPL Coordination Policy; monitor and evaluate the progress made in RPL implementation and coordination across the education and training sector; and identify barriers to RPL implementation which may require legislative amendments.

    About Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Coordination Policy
    The purpose of this RPL policy is to provide a strong enabling policy environment for the further development and implementation of RPL across the post-school education and training system, and across all levels of the NQF. It seeks to provide a solid policy to ensure that the RPL objectives of the NQF Act are met. It aims to

     Facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within, education and training and career paths, (section 5 (1)(b) of the NQF Act); and
     Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities ((section 5 (1) (d) of the NQF Act).

    The RPL Coordination Policy will support the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region related to education and training.

    This policy is based on the report and proposals from the Ministerial Task team on a National strategy for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) (2013), and the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (2013). It also recognizes a range of RPL-related initiatives. Some of these have been underway for several years, and others are being planned for the future. These will be part of an integrated strategy for RPL policy implementation, which has been developed by SAQA and the Quality Councils (QCs).

    This is a strategic policy and has drawn on international trends in recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning and workplace-based experiential learning. The key international influences on the policy have been the valuable research of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).

    Enquiries:
    Dr Shirley Lloyd
    Director: National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Directorate
    Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)
    Ndinaye House
    178 Francis Baard Street PRETORIA
    Lloyd.s@dhet.gov.za
    012 312 5081 (NQF office) or 012 312 5178
    083 2607643

    For Editor’s Notes

    The Reference Group has the following terms of reference:
    1. Advise the Minister about funding for RPL implementation on an annual basis.
    2. Collaborate, cooperate and communicate with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the three Quality Councils regarding RPL implementation across education and training system.
    3. Recognise and collaborate with RPL centres.
    4. Provide guidance and support to implementing agencies such as education and training institutions and RPL centres.
    5. Advise the Minister about the Professionalisation of RPL Practitioners.

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  • #67274

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Best news I have heard in a long time. Maybe now we will see some positive implementation and not just a little here and there. The terms of reference are interesting particularly point 5.

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  • #67275

    These efforts are noteworthy and applauded. However, the established team is profiled to work from a policy perspective with now support, input or experience from provider/ institutional level. Yes, we will be provided with the opportunity to comment on the draft proposal, which in my humble opinion will have little to no impact.

    My forecast, being a realist by nature, is that this initiative by inception is geared for failure. But, I am granting them the benefit of the doubt.

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  • #67279

    Gavin Tonks
    Participant

    the problem is where do you draw a line, I can understand from my perspective I was an interior designer whn their was no qualification other than your ability that qualifies for rpl but how do you rpl a matric and if we are talking workskills how many people realistically will have on job training to actually qualify for rpl. RPL after all is a monopoly card to go to go and miss your turn on the board

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  • #67292

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I really think this is a long overdue initiative and will be dealt with correctly by those involved. I have had the pleasure of meeting with the one of the members appointed and feel confident providers will be involved. I will ask the question and try to get clarity on their approach.

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  • #67300

    Petra Penninkhoff
    Participant

    Now I understand why I could find so little info on RPL. I think it essential to have this properly organised. I hope that the team will come up with an implementable policy soon. However, with a 23 member team, I fear more time will go into meetings than into actually drafting a policy and it will still take ages before there is one.
    In the mean time, RPL will remain a valid strategy for many to get recognition and a qualification or Unit Standard certificate. Even in the Netherlands there is a RPL-like system. Quite expensive but the point is that it is still relevant whatever the level of economic development.

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  • #67340

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Now we know the task team has been established by the minister what are the issues you (providers, assessors and moderators) feel they should address? What are your concerns and worries related to RPL?
    I will make contact with one of the team members and direct them to your responses. That way we can at least ensure a hearing.

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  • #67344

    Brilliant initiative Des! Why not create a Survey on SurveyMonkey.com that way we can reach the entire South Africa and what is best, it gets consolidated at once and provides a great report with Graph, Stats per province, SETA etc! …and it adds weight, reliability, validity and AUTHENTICITY to your submission!

    Man, I get so excited about this type of “stuff” – it keeps our field dynamic, pro-active and current!!!

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  • #67346

    Gavin Tonks
    Participant

    Stakeholder meeting today at SSETA, RPL should be industry specific and policy and framework should address that, plus recommendation that 1st year candidates will need solid assessment as it is unlikely that will have the necessary experience to get a full qualification through RPL. This would mean a process of educating industry gaps to make the person proficient.

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